by Rob Hill
A Black Horse Western from Hale, July 2010
When Jack Just, weary from long days on the trail, rides into an isolated cattle town on the Texas Panhandle, he discovers that the greedy and powerful Clovis Blacklake has the whole town in his pocket.
But when Jack discovers that Blacklake has cheated the town’s most downtrodden inhabitant out of his rightful property, he decides to make a stand.
It takes a real man to fight the ruthless Blacklake and when Jack does; the table finally begin to turn….
It seems as though this is the first Black Horse Western to appear under this author’s name, whether this is his real name or a pseudonym I have no idea.
The book begins at an almost gentle pace, even though the opening pages do include a vicious beating, and slowly builds towards its climax at ever increasing speed.
The author takes time introducing the various characters that are going to be the main players in the story, such as Jack Just, Clovis Blacklake and his sister Adela who is near blind, Sheriff Bull Brown and his part-time deputies, the crippled Indian Moses and more. There’s one, though, whom he doesn’t reveal much about: a Comanche who keeps appearing and watching events at the abandoned mission, thus adding a touch of mystery to the story. There’s other questions too, for instance is Blacklake really as bad as Just believes, as most of the townsfolk hold him in high regard.
Rob Hill doesn’t include any events that aren’t going to have a part to play later in the story, for instance the brutal beating at the beginning, which at first appears to be just showing how savage the deputies can be, sees the beaten man having an important role to play later that helps shape the outcome of the book, particularly during the showdown between Just and Blacklake during a prize fight challenge.
The story ends in a somewhat surprising way, considering the plot seems to be following a traditional western storyline for the most part, in that who lives and who dies, and what the future holds for those who survive, may not be how many might expect the book to finish.
Rangeland Justice should be available from Internet bookstores now, and I, for one, hope it isn’t too long before another book appears from this author.